Rockies extend Tracy's deal through 2012
NL Manager of the Year for '09 leads team to Wild Card
Despite leading the Rockies to a 74-42 record and a postseason berth after taking over for Clint Hurdle this past season, Jim Tracy felt like his team had some unfinished business.
After agreeing to a three-year contract extension Wednesday, Tracy will get the opportunity to help the Rockies finish it.
"Obviously, a new contract is very exciting to me," said Tracy, who was named National League Manager of the Year on Wednesday as well. "What is more intriguing to me is what is still out there for our ballclub and what we've left out there."
When Tracy took over the Rockies on May 29, they were 18-28. Under his direction they went 74-42 and captured the NL Wild Card. Their season ended with a loss to the Phillies in Game 4 of the NL Division Series.
"You're always going to have that empty feeling that we had after Game 4 unless you play the last game of the year and win," Tracy said. "And that's out there for us, too."
Tracy praised the organization as a whole, naming everyone from owners Charles and Richard Monfort to front-office staffers and, of course, general manager Dan O'Dowd.
The extension had been rumored for some time now, but Tracy said the delay had nothing to do with any disagreements and everything to do with dotting I's and crossing T's.
"The security of the three years is what is so special about the way the Monforts and Danny and the rest of the front office do their business, I never heard about anything less than three years and I don't think there was ever any real hassle over dollars and cents," Tracy said. "They are being extremely fair with me. This is a very special organization, there's no question about it."
In addition to Tracy, the entire 2009 coaching staff has agreed to return for 2010, including pitching coach Bob Apodaca, hitting coach Don Baylor, third-base/infield coach Rich Dauer, bench coach Tom Runnells, first-base coach Glenallen Hill and bullpen coach Jim Wright.
Though it was a coaching staff he inherited when he took over for Hurdle, Tracy had no second thoughts about bringing them back when he met with O'Dowd at season's end.
"I said, 'Danny, every single one of them has to come back because they deserve it,'" Tracy said. "As far as these coaches were concerned, we don't have a chance to accomplish what we accomplished from May 29 through the Division Series had those coaches not stepped forward and got busy doing the things they did. You don't make change for change sake. When you see an individual is doing his job in as professional manner, as these guys did their job, there's no need to make any changes. I really believe that something that helps get you to the last game of the year is familiarity and continuity and I definitely want that going into Spring Training in 2010."
The Rockies' 92 wins in 2009 were the most in franchise history. They made the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and had the best road record in franchise history. The fact that the core of his team returns and is at the age when players tend to improve has Tracy excited about the future.
"If Thanksgiving and Christmas weren't coming up, I'm very close to anxiously looking forward to getting to Tucson and starting back up again," Tracy said. "Because I miss everybody."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.